Rep. Max Rose, a Jewish New York Democrat, apologized to his Jewish constituents Tuesday for not being able to “protect” them from “anti-Semitic tropes” promoted by Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar.
“Nobody won with her comments,” Mr. Rose said at a town hall event organized by the Council of Jewish Organizations of Staten Island. “The American people lost and the Jewish people of this country and of Staten Island lost.
“I was horrified and saddened when she made the comments that she made,” he said. “So horrified that as a freshman member of Congress I stepped in front of my party’s leadership and I was the first member of the Democratic Party to criticize her.”
Ms. Omar, a Somali-American and one of two Muslim women in Congress, has repeatedly been accused of peddling anti-Semitic tropes in her ongoing criticism of Israel. While House Democrats have condemned Ms. Omar’s comments, they have not heeded calls to remove the freshman congresswoman from her seat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Mr. Rose said he agreed with that decision but promised to “remain vigilant” in protecting the Jewish community from anti-Semitism.
“We’re never going to forget, but we’re going to use every tool available to protect our community from those comments being made again,” he said.
The comments were first reported by Jewish Insider, which posted a video of Mr. Rose’s speech on Facebook. At the beginning of the event, the freshman congressman apologized to his fellow Jewish New Yorkers for “failing” to protect them.
“As a young congressman, I’ve got to tell you I’m sorry,” he said, Jewish Insider reported. “You sent me to Congress to take responsibility. You sent me to Congress to have your back … and I failed you. Because I know that Congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s comments really caused you all a lot of pain by bringing up anti-Semitic tropes.”